Posts Tagged ‘Personal Writing’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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100000 page views

I missed marking my first year anniversary of this blog with an appropriate post and then not to be outdone by that, I also managed to miss the second year anniversary too. I guess I had other things on my mind at the time.

However this post marks another significant milestone in my blogging career, if I can call it that, because earlier today the fasab blog managed to push its way through the 100,000 page views threshold. Certainly a lot more than the humble beginnings when literally only a handful of people turned up!

I know it’s not a world shaking internet statistic, not even in the blogsphere either, but for me and this blog I think it is remarkable. Even more so since I have a tendency to sometimes write about people I know, so I can’t really publicize my blog via the usual “friends and family” route.  

Before I started my blog I’d obviously heard about them, but I’d never even read one. I had a bit of time on my hands and I thought I would give it a go. As I’ve probably said before, I wasn’t really into social networking sites like “Myface” or “Spacebook” or whatever, not that there’s anything wrong with them if you like that sort of thing and many people I know do.

But I thought blogging might be my thing.

So I read blogs and I read about blogging and I created my own little niche of “Fighting Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”, which I found I was doing every day anyway, and mixed it with a bit of humor, politics and so forth – and here we are 100,000 views later, and counting.

It has been an interesting time.

Apart from a handful of hopefuls who think they’ll make a fortune out of it, I think most people are like me, blogging for themselves. But it is also very nice and very rewarding when other people stop by to read the posts and even better when they acknowledge them with a “like”, a “follow”, or a “comment”.

I am delighted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited the fasab blog and particularly those who have decided to follow whether on WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or whatever. Some bloggers and readers, who I like to call my “blog-friends” have become regulars here. I very much appreciate your support. I have tried to reciprocate by visiting your blogs too when time permits.

One or two others  –  who I have no doubt are thoroughly ashamed of themselves :)  –  have fallen by the wayside, but most visitors I do not even know. Which brings me to another thing that I wasn’t expecting, and that was the variety of countries visitors come from. The bulk are from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and India – which is more or less what you could expect for an English language blog. But interestingly there have also been visitors from many other parts of Europe, South and Central America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa too. And all are very welcome.

So what does the future hold for the fasab blog?

I don’t exactly know the answer to that. Probably more puns, and factoids. Maybe a few more quizzes. Definitely the odd rant about things that annoy me (that’s a lot of things, the list grows every day!). But hopefully a lot of humor too.

A smile never does any harm  –  unless some big stupid bloke thinks you’re laughing at him  –  so prepare yourself for more.

My sincere thanks to everyone who has visited and who reads this.

And don’t forget the “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy!”

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There Comes A Time When Zero Tolerance Is The Only Option

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Current Events, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another rant, now known as the Sunday Sermon.

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For many years there has been an influx of Muslims into Western countries like, for example, America and Britain. And for years these people arrived and set to work to provide a better life for their families, which was reason they chose our countries in the first place.

Sometimes we treated them with respect. At other times their treatment was not so welcoming. But the vast majority accepted things as they were and worked hard, with the result that they did make a better life for themselves.

However, now all of a sudden, because of the rants of a few demented and evil clerics who have corrupted the words of Allah and the meaning of the Koran, some Muslims are now offended by everything, including the very presence of the citizens of the countries they have chosen to come and live among.

How absurd is that?

Worse, however, is that we are supposed to pander to this nonsense and tippy toe around them afraid to do or say anything in case it will be distorted and manufactured into something offensive.

And if we don’t?

Well then they will cut our head’s off in the middle of a street and stand bragging about it afterwards.

That is exactly what happened in London this week when Drummer Lee Rigby, a British soldier, was first knocked down by a car driven by two blood-thirsty killers and then decapitated as he lay helpless on the street.  

murdered soldier Drummer Lee Rigby

murdered soldier Drummer Lee Rigby

On any scale of things that are offensive, it just doesn’t get any more offensive than that.

Yet we are supposed to tolerate the intolerable and excuse the inexcusable!

Let’s get real folks.

Some things are unacceptable in western society. And if you choose to live in western society then you live by our rules, not yours.

When I visit a Muslim country where, for example, drinking alcohol is forbidden, I don’t put on the pretense of being offended, I don’t whine about my rights being denied, in fact I don’t complain at all. I am in their country, those are their rules, and while I am there I am happy to respect them and abide by them.

Why is there no reciprocal respect any more?

And even more to the point, why is that reciprocal respect not demanded?

We have allowed our politicians to cloud the issue by blundering about in foreign lands. They say they are doing it to fight terrorism and protect us, but in reality it has much more to do with securing commodities and distracting us from much more serious economic problems they have created at home.

Politicians manipulate their people by creating ‘bogey men’ and fomenting fear where none should really exist. They do it, not for the benefit of their constituents, but for their own self promotion and their attempt to cling on to power. It happens in every country, east or west, north or south, and it has been happening for centuries.

And what is happening to elements of the Muslim population today is no different. In their case the manipulation is made slightly easier because the evil clerics are able to deceive their largely uneducated and ignorant followers with the promise of seventy virgins and a place in heaven if they either kill themselves or other innocent people – preferably both at the same time. Strange, if the reward is so great, that you never see the clerics themselves pushing to the front of the queue to participate!  

There is a horrible trend nowadays that standards must be allowed to come down to the lowest level. Exams in schools and degrees at universities have to be made easier and easier to pass, lest some be deemed not to have qualified. Everyone has to be treated as a potential terrorist at airports in case selective targeting of possible suspects be labeled as racial or ethnic profiling. And every effort has to be made try to understand and excuse the criminals in our society who prey on the law-abiding.

We have completely lost our way. And the only solution is to take a stand on these important issues. Try to be nice, and understanding, and liked by everyone and you doom yourself and your society. There comes a time when the proverbial line has to be drawn in the sand. And there comes a time when zero tolerance is the only option.

That time is now!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another Sunday Sermon, otherwise known as a rant!

 Foreclosure Notice Yellow Photo

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First it was Cyprus where the bankrupt government tried to steal money right out of people’s bank accounts. If you want to read that again click here and here.)

Then it was the turn of the greedy bureaucrats in Australia who decided to tax pensions TWICE, once when you put the money in and again when you tried to take it out! (For the original post click here.) 

Now in bankrupt Spain the politicians are at it, however, this time they aren’t proposing to steal some of the money in your bank account  –  oh no, this time they want to steal your entire home!

Yes, you read it right, the Spanish government has announced this past week that they want to seize homes that have been foreclosed on by banks and developers.

Not that I have any sympathy with the banksters, not by a long chalk! But theft is theft, and theft by governments is perhaps the most evil of all simply because the victims have little or no remedies available – other than pack up and go somewhere else.

se vende

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As usual the politicians and bureaucrats are trying to dress this theft up as something helpful. They say they will rent the confiscated foreclosed homes to Spanish families who will be allowed to live there rent-free for up to three years.

Sounds great, but as usual what these political morons have failed to do is think their policy through.

If they go ahead with this plan to steal homes the consequences will not be what they think.

First of all it will destroy what is left of the mortgage market in Spain because no one will want to make home loans on Spanish real estate if there is no viable foreclosure mechanism should things go wrong for the mortgagee.

Second, it will go a long way to killing off the buy-to-let sector, which is the thing that has been keeping the real estate market afloat in these financially strained times. Home sales, not just in Spain, but in many countries have been boosted considerably by cash rich investors picking up what they consider to be ‘bargain’ properties at a level that yields a decent return on their capital. Where will they get that return if the government kills the rental sector by renting out homes for free?

And third, it will also kill off the recent Spanish drive to attract foreign investors by offering residency to anyone who spends around $200,000 buying up the glut of Spanish property currently on its real estate market.   

If these things were happening in Zimbabwe or even Venezuela everyone would be calling it a disgrace. But it is happening in Europe and Australia and America. And it will get worse the more desperate the politicians and the bureaucrats become as they make the mess they created worse, not better.

Who on earth put idiots like these in charge?

It wasn’t you was it?

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes folks, sadly, the idiots have invaded the state organizations in Florida too.

And they are doing what they do best  –  inflicting needless misery on ordinary decent people.

This time the victim is a teenage girl, Kiera Wilmot, who has been expelled from her school and was arrested and charged with causing a totally harmless “explosion” by mixing household products in a plastic bottle.

The incident happened when she and another pupil of the school, mixed up some common household products in a plastic bottle – having heard that something amusing might result.

They did it outdoors on school premises. The resulting “blast” was not even sufficient to rupture the plastic bottle, merely popping off the top and generating some smoke.

Unfortunately for the luckless teenager, however, an idiot was at hand in the form of an assistant principal. He called the police and idiot number two, the responding officer, phoned idiot number three, a state prosecutor (named in the police report as Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty).

Isn’t it strange they way they all know each other – there must be a Secret Idiot Network, a bit like the Masons, that you are asked to join when you are deemed to be stupid enough!

Idiot three, the Assistant State Attorney, also known as a “R-Q’er” or “Regulation Quoter”, advised that Kiera be charged with “possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school sponsored event or on school property” and “making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing or discharging any destructive device”.

As a result, local education officials (idiots 4 thru whatever), decided that Kiera had to be expelled from school.

Now the poor girl will have to try to complete her education in an “expulsion program”, and faces the future stigma of a serious criminal conviction.

In case you are wondering, Kiera’s killer cocktail consisted of nothing more than toilet cleaner and aluminum foil, so if you have either or both of these in your home  –  and I bet you do  –  then I guess if the wrong idiot came along he could charge you with having bomb-making materials! Never mind, they say the weather is nice and warm at Guantanimo.

Prior to her career as a bomb-maker, Kiera had never been in trouble. Even her school principle, Ron Pritchard, told WTSP News, “She is a good kid. She has never been in trouble before. Ever.”

Ron, in my opinion, you would be a lot better off getting rid of that idiot assistant of yours who started all this nonsense, rather than a good student.

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If, having read this, you feel the urge to help Kiera, there is an online petition addressed to several relevant local officials that says:

Please, do the right thing. Drop these charges and apologize for the incredible turmoil you have created.

To go to the petition please click here

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Remember, as I say at the start of every post, we have to “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”. Otherwise one day they might be coming for YOU!

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aFrankAngle’s A-to-Z Challenge On Fasab

Posted: May 3, 2013 in Factoids, Humour, Uncategorized, Unusual
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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My blog friend Frank over at A Frank Angle came up with the idea of doing a post based on an alphabetical listing of a selection of his previous posts. An interesting idea and a good way to introduce more recent readers to some of the things they might otherwise have missed.

Of course, Frank couldn’t leave it at that, so he threw out a challenge for others to try to do the same for their blogs. And guess who couldn’t resist the challenge!

So here you are, for new and long term readers of this blog, a alphabetical journey through some of the files of Fasab!

Enjoy.

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afaa2zbadge

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A is for….

Awkward Moments, (Part One, Part Two and Part Three), a short series of amusing anecdotes of times when things didn’t go quite right.

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B is for….

Banksters, one of my perpetual hate figures and the subject of numerous rants such as this one

Are The Banksters Guilty Of Treason Against The Nation?

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C is for….

Classifieds, a long running series of funny classified ads that turned out rather differently to the original intent, for example Part Three and Part Fourteen

And also for factoids about Chocolate and Coffee which people seemed to enjoy

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D is for….

Dogs. I make no secret of the fact that I am very fond of dogs, and German Shepherds in particular. You won’t get a better or more loyal companion and friend. I’ve done several doggie posts, this one has been the most popular,

Sometimes Dogs Know More Than We Give Them Credit For

And for Dear Abbey, no blog like this would be complete without a few letters from Joe Public seeking advice for some of their most disturbing problems.

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E is for….

Education, the lack of, as evidenced by these student exam answers, Part One and Part Two

And also for Emergency Room, some amusing anecdotes from the medical world.

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F is for….

Facebook, in particular the disastrous launch of the company on to the stock market which inspired the longest alliterated blog post title so far

Furious Flabbergasted Facebook Fools Face Frightening Falls From Fanciful Flagging Financial Flotation Farce

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G is for….

The Great Escape, a short story aout an intrepid group of construction workers held hostage by Saddam Hussein before the outbreak of the first war with Iraq

And also for a Glass Of Milk being raised in tribute to Samuel J Porcello, the man who made Oreos what they are today.

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H is for….

Has to be for The Late Great Mr Harry Meadows, an old fellow whose efforts to spice up life in an English nursing home didn’t quite work out as intended.

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I is for….

I Miss Him, and I Miss Him Two, a nostalgic look back at some of the wonderful statements of President George W Bush.

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J is for….

The Journey, an eight part story of an eventful and amusing journey from Dublin, Ireland to the Caribbean, by way of Miami, Florida. This was one of the first things I wrote for this blog and published before there was much viewing traffic

Dublin Airport,  –   Reconfigured And Stuck,  –   The Three Hour Stopover,  –   What Color Was It?   –  Just A Trip To The Mall,   –  Miami Twice, Lost In That Is,   –  Bags And Bags And Bags Of Bother,  and  Finally, I Made It!

K is for….

Korea, my take on the current posturing and politics concerning North and South Korea,

Is Obama Making A Bad Korea Move?

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L is for….

A Long Love Affair, a short story about my own geeky love affair with computers during the past few decades.

And for Lost In The Fog, a short story about Tommy who managed to get completely lost in the field beside his house.

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M is for….

The MilPost Blog Award, another thing inspired by Frank who was the first blogger to receive this prestigious award only given to those few bloggers who have posted 1,000 times or more on their blog. If you know of anyone who is eligible to receive it please let me know.

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N is for….

Numbers, an on going series of factoids about numbers and their meanings and associations, that has surprised me in the numbers of people viewing them. So far the most popular number is Twenty-Three 23.

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O is for….

One Small Step For Man, a tribute on hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong the first man to set foot on the Moon. There are differing views on how Mr Gorsky fared, but I hope he did okay!

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P is for….

No, you’re all wrong. P is for my loving tribute to the wonderful invention knows as Peanut Butter.

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Q is for….

Quiz Show Answers, a very funny and long running series about the dumb answers given by contestants on various TV and radio quizzes over the years. Like this for example,

It’s Monday And That Means Some More Quiz Show Answers

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R is for….

Revenge Of The First Graders, part of a short series of guess the logo quizzes, apparently kids can recognize about 200 of these by the time they are ready for the first grade!

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S is for….

Stupidity, one of the foundation stones of this blog. No one is immune, especially not politicians and lawyers.

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T is for….

Tarzan and Travel Agents, both of whom made an appearance on the fasab blog.

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U is for….

US Politics And Foreign Policy For Dummies, sometimes it takes a kid to show us how absurd the world of adults really is!

And ‘U’ is for Up, as in People Hardly Ever Look Up, Sometimes They Should!

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V is for….

Versatile Blogger Award. Actually that should be ‘awards’ the first nomination from Alex way back when this blog was barely two months old, and subsequently from Sunny and Wendy. The Fasab blog has also been nominated for the Illuminating Blogger Award (Kenton), Sunshine Award (Wendy again) and the Kreative Blogger Award (Nabdip). My sincere thanks to everyone who though this blog worthy of nomination and I will get round to doing a proper awards page I promise.

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W is for….

Word Play. Yes, you were right, just in the wrong place. I like puns and they feature almost every week somewhere in my blog. So like them, or hate them, or like to hate them, or even hate to like them, you’re sure to find some here.

Why Are Puns So Popular?

Word Play, Bad Jokes, Whatever You Call Them They’re Still Pun To Me

It’s Thursday And That Means Another Excuse For A Few More Bad Jokes

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X is for….

X-rated, a steamy tension filled post about My Morning In Bed With Derek. Read it if you dare!

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Y is for….

Your Country Needs You, a story about a friend’s unusual introduction to the military world.

And You’re Too Stupid To Own A Computer, about pc owners and technical helplines!

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Z is for….

Zero, there are no ‘Z’ posts on this blog, unless the ones that put you to sleep reading them!

I suppose I could have used some of the quiz or puzzle posts, but that’s a bit of a cop out.

I hope this means that Fasab has yet to reach its zenith.

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So that’s it, the Fasab A – Z. Feel free to click any or all of the links that take your fancy, and, as always, enjoy!

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Frank has asked me to remind everyone that no nominations are required to take part in the A2Z challenge, so why not have a go. It’s a bit of work, but fun too, and it gives you the excuse to look over some of your old posts.
The details are on Frank’s blog. To go there, click here!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The original title of this post was “Farting On Airplanes” because it is really about farting on airplanes, but I thought it might be better just to call it “It’s An Ill Wind”.

No, come on, now you know don’t turn your noses up, or pretend this is something that (a) you’ve never thought about, or (b) never done. Farting on airplanes is an international phenomenon that transcends all nationalities, religions, ages, creeds, classes and colors.

It is in fact the common bond of all the world’s travelers.

Whether it can ever bring us closer together, however, is another thing (Phew!)

longer larger fart plane

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This is a quite embarrassing story. Not something one would normally admit to, but people write unusual things on blogs.

It concerns one of the first long haul flights that I was ever on.

Nowadays, as a seasoned flyer, I always have a good meal before the flight. I don’t suffer from air sickness of any kind and I don’t care for the stuff they call airline food. Back then, however, I was a novice and ended up on board without any breakfast other than a cup of coffee. My stomach was empty – of food anyhow.

All was well for about twenty or thirty minutes and then it started.

The obvious solution would have been to get up and go to the toilet. But easy options aren’t the way I have gone through life so far.

Also it was a big plane, a 747, and the toilets were quite a bit away from my seat. I would face a long walk down the narrow aisle.

Not that the walk itself was the problem. It was just that whoever designs airline seats has arranged things so that the nose and ears of the person sitting down is just about at the same height as the bottom of the person walking casually past.

You see the predicament?

In any case, I found myself in a window seat with two other seats to negotiate before I got to the aisle. Such was the pressure building up that I feared the exertion of hopping over the additional seats would make the whole purpose of the journey somewhat redundant.

There was nothing for it but to stay where I was, with the unfortunate choice being either bursting or releasing some of the pressure. Not unnaturally I chose to do the latter option.

As these things go it was a substantial outcome. But the drone of the plane engines (they were a lot louder in those days, I think, I hope, weren’t they?) seemed to drown out any other background noises.

I didn’t hear a thing.

I double checked by having a quick look at the person unfortunate enough to be sitting beside me, but there was no sign in the expression on his face that anything untoward had happened. Either that or he was a professional poker player with a practiced deadpan expression – or in a state of semi consciousness as a result of the concussive force emanating from the seat beside him.

My confidence grew. I thought of the famous campfire scene from Blazing Saddles and let a few more go in tribute.

Farting Mid Flight

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I was so happy at the relief and at the fact that all was undetected that I allowed myself a triumphant smile, and then even a laugh. The movie I was watching was a comedy so my laughter didn’t look out of place either.

It was all good.

Hang on a minute.

All was not as good as it seemed.

Cut the laughter and cue serious worried face.

I suddenly realized that all this time I had been wearing the headphones the flight attendant had given us for the movies they were showing. No wonder I had heard nothing!

Oh dear me! What had I done?

Well, I knew what I had done, of course. The big question now was, did anyone else know? Had they heard me doing it?

I looked again at the man in the seat beside me. Again no perceivable reaction on his face that indicated that anything out of the ordinary had happened, although now I was aware of them I saw that he too was wearing the headphones.   

I was relieved a bit, but still very curious. And when I get curious about something I have to try to find an answer.

So there was nothing for it but let rip again, this time with my headphones off.

And that’s what I did.

Thankfully, in the interests of the scientific experiment now under way, the quality of the offending item had not diminished in force. A guy knows about these things even without any audio feedback.

To my great relief, in every meaning of the word, I still didn’t hear a thing. The drone of the airplane engines had indeed drowned out any other sounds.

It was a magnificently liberating experience and from that day on I have never looked back, as it were.

Further experimentation revealed that the same undetectable result could be achieved even on much smaller airplanes. Commercial jets I’m talking about, of course, this is not a sport to indulge in on a single engined Cesna or something like that.

I also found out that it is possible I have been saving the airlines lucky enough to win my custom a small fortune. As you know the air in airplanes these days is all re-circulated and, as the methane content of a fart is lighter than air, the captured gas therefore contributes to keeping the airplane airborne with a consequent saving on fuel. That’s my story anyhow.

farting in airplanes

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And the good news just keeps on coming.

Independent research confirms that a person’s sense of smell is greatly suppressed in the reduced cabin air pressure, which incidentally is also why airplane food tastes so bad. 

So now if you are on an airplane and sitting beside someone who is chuckling to himself – or herself, yes ladies your secret is out – you’ll know the real reason why!

One day it might even be me!!!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

Gold Eagle Rev

You couldn’t exactly call yesterday “Black Friday” the way financial pundits like to do, but that traditional “safe haven”, gold, certainly lost a lot of its shine.

In fact the price of gold went into freefall, plunging the best part of $100 an ounce in a massive selling spree and ending up below the magic $1500 mark for the first time in a while.

I don’t think anyone is sure yet just what triggered the almost panic sell off on the Comex, but my gut feeling is that, once started, the computer generated trading gizmos used by the big hedge funds etc., kicked in big time and made matters go from bad to worse.

These automatic trading monsters trigger sales when a pre-chosen stop loss figure is reached, one stop loss sell off triggers the next and so on until there is a massive market plunge, as happened yesterday. The same could just as easily happen on the stock market.   

What most ordinary folks don’t realize is that the majority of traders in the financial markets are idiots. They just hang around looking at their screens and then follow whatever they see happening. It’s the herd mentality syndrome. When the big boys start to sell then the little boys follow suit and the whole thing goes from bad to worse, often without anyone really knowing who started it or why it is happening.

That seems to have been the case yesterday as there were no catastrophic economic indicators, like major inflation fears, currency collapses, etc., to trigger a significant movement one way or the other.

Whatever caused it, it is a warning to investors to be cautious. It could be a blip or the harbinger of turbulent times ahead.

Although there are many doom-and-gloom merchants with their “the end is nigh” web sites urging their followers to dump paper money, fiat currencies they call them, and stock up on gold, the truth is that gold has not been a good investment in recent months and years.

By definition the very worst a good investment should do is hold its value in line with inflation – if it doesn’t you are losing value.

For almost two years now gold has been steadily falling in value. Anyone who bought, for example, in August or September 2011 has seen their investment fall significantly in value – down by more than twenty percent in fact. You put $10,000 in, you get less than $7,900 out, and the dealers take their cut both ways.

So will the bear market for gold continue or was Friday just a glitch? Well, if you could answer that one for certain you would be able to make a lot of money.

My feeling, for what it’s worth is that the price will probably fall further. Maybe not so dramatically as yesterday, but it could easily trickle downwards to the $1200 region.

That assumes no dramatic sell offs by bankrupt governments and banks, because that is definitely a last resort measure that they would be most reluctant to take. If or when it does happen it means BIG financial trouble for everyone.

So will gold ever be a good investment again?

Warren Buffet never thought so, but it could be. Possibly a very good investment. But probably not a long term hold. Many western economies are just hanging together at the moment. The amount of debt and insolvency has to mean that at some stage the normal investment vehicles like currencies, stocks, bonds etc., will start to suffer and people will turn back to “safe havens” like gold.

IF you buy at the right time, and remember that you need to get rid of it and fast when the cycle turns again, you could do very well. But I wouldn’t jump in and buy it just yet.

Take it away Shirley….

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